Firstly I confess to being a big fan of YA Novels, and in particular those featuring supernatural beings living as part of the real world. This series is nothing like Twilight, however, except that it features vampires and teenage life struggles. Vampire Academy’s premise is that vampires (called Moroi in this ‘imagining’) live amongst us but in a separate, secret society. They drink blood from willing donors and have guardians from a vampire-human hybrid race (Dhampir), trained from birth to act as bodyguards and security to the Moroi. The danger in these books comes mostly from Strigoi, who are vampires turned bad. They are super-strong, lightening-fast, without a shred of emotion or conscience. A bite from a Strigoi can ‘turn’ a peace-loving Moroi or Dhampir into a blood-crazed creature unable to bear sunlight on their chalk white skin and red-ringed eyes.
Books 1-3 focus mostly on the challenges faced by headstrong Rose (Damphir), who protects Lissa (Moroi royalty ) in the setting of their academy St Vladimir’s. This is where Rose is learning to be a kick-ass guardian, although she’s frequently underestimated because she’s also a cute, curvy girl. Lissa and Rose have been friends since childhood. Lissa lost her family at a young age, but has a rare and special bond with Rose, who senses Lissa’s emotions and can link with her mind and experience whatever Lissa does. Rose is a rebel, fiercely loyal to Lissa. She excels at guardian training but finds herself attracted, although it’s forbidden, to her god-like guardian tutor Dimitri.
In books 4-6 Rose must leave the relative safety of the Academy, to face dangers from Strigoi, Morois and Dhampirs who don’t live their lives according to regulations to which she’s accustomed. She forms unusual alliances, not always sure who she can trust. All the while Rose links mentally with Lissa, checking up on her friend who’s stayed behind. She is training in the politics and diplomacy her life as a high-ranking Moroi requires, even though she wants to challenge the old ways. Lissa’s secretly learning to harness a special power she has, the use of which could also overwhelm her to the point of insanity.
Are you intrigued? I hope so! Last Sacrifice (book 6) has Rose on the run, forced to abandon family and friends, regarded as a criminal by the vampire society. She teams up with a motley crew, people who’ve helped her in the past, in an effort to clear her name but, in typical Rose fashion, she doesn’t stick to the plan of lying low and letting Lissa try to overturn evidence at Court. Instead she throws herself into further danger, seeking an illegitimate member of Moroi royalty to help Lissa gain a seat on the vampire council. There are battles with Strigoi, car chases, injuries, she must live like a fugitive amongst ancient vampire settlements and, of course, there’s a love triangle to keep Rose on her toes! Lissa’s too is in grave danger from those who don’t want her to uncover the truth or gain any more power. Without Rose’s protection, she must carry out trials to be queen, whilst unsure who she can trust, and take care to use her power without letting it consume her.
The tale is fast paced and compelling, it hurtles to its climactic conclusion of the entire series. With well-drawn characters who’re easy to relate to: if you jump in with both feet and ask questions later you’ll be on team Rose! However if you are a rule-follower and less confident, you’ll feel an affinity with Lissa, and that’s before we begin on the cast of eligible men! Do you want a rich boy with bad habits? Or a rebel who can’t seem to leave his past behind? Or do you prefer someone strong, who has high expectations which you must live up to? They’re all there in this exciting story of a supernatural world hidden within our world.
There is a major film out on DVD (of the first book) called Vampire Academy
Here is the listing of all 6 Vampire Academy novels in chronological order:
Richelle Mead has written another series of books: Bloodlines
Written by Guest Blogger